Ante Rebic dislocated his left elbow during the Serie A fixture against Crotone but suffered no fractures, Milan announced on Monday. 

Forward Rebic tripped and fell during an attack and immediately signalled to be substituted in his side's 2-0 triumph on Sunday, his arm causing him clear discomfort. 

The Croatia international has undergone medical checks on the injury, with scan results revealing no broken bones or nerve damage. 

In a short statement issued on the club's website, Milan revealed Rebic will undergo another scan, as well as a check-up, in 10 days. 

The 27-year-old will miss two games for the Rossoneri prior to the international break in October, sitting out the Europa League tie with Rio Ave and the Serie A clash with Spezia. 

Rebic's injury comes at an unfortunate time for Milan, who have been without Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the veteran Swedish striker tested positive for coronavirus. 

Lorenzo Colombo replaced Rebic at Stadio Ezio Scida, just three days after the youth product marked his full debut with a goal in the 3-2 Europa League qualifying win over Bodo/Glimt. 

Milan head coach Stefano Pioli says Ante Rebic appears to have avoided any serious damage to his arm after an incident in Sunday's win over Crotone.

Rebic tripped and fell during a Milan attack and immediately signalled to be substituted, his left arm causing him clear discomfort.

There were fears the Croatia international had dislocated and perhaps fractured his elbow during the accident, which occurred 58 minutes into Milan's 2-0 Serie A victory.

Pioli, though, is hopeful the injury is not as bad as it first looked.

"It seems there aren't any fractures, so he could be back soon. I hope this is confirmed," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"He's important given the absence of Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] and the physical condition of [Rafael] Leao, who isn't yet at his best."

Rebic's injury comes at an unfortunate time for Milan, who are without veteran Ibrahimovic after he tested positive for coronavirus.

Lorenzo Colombo replaced Rebic at Stadio Ezio Scida, just three days after the Rossoneri youth product marked his full debut with a goal in the 3-2 Europa League qualifying win over Bodo/Glimt.

Pioli appears happy to use the 18-year-old again in the coming week, as Milan prepare for a Europa League play-off against Rio Ave and a league game at home to Spezia.

"He came on with the right approach. You have to go out onto the pitch with the awareness of being ready and with the right sense of calm," he said of Colombo.

"He's a mature boy. If I think it's right to play him, I will."

Ante Rebic says Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the only on-field leader Milan need as he hailed the veteran striker's impact since returning to the club in January.

Ibrahimovic, 38, scored 11 goals in 20 appearances for Milan after joining on a free transfer at the turn of the year and signed a one-year extension last month.

The ex-Sweden international helped to revive the Rossoneri's flagging campaign, with Rebic among those to step up in a strong end to 2019-20 that ended with a 13-game unbeaten run.

Rebic has earned praise for his leadership qualities but insists Ibrahimovic is head coach Stefano Pioli's commander-in-chief on the pitch.

"Zlatan is a great player - he helps the team and has a major effect on everyone," he told Milan TV.

"It's always a pleasure to play with him, but I just focus on my own work and to do well in my role. I hope to do even better.

"We have one leader on the bench, the coach, and another on the pitch, Zlatan. For now we don't need other [leaders]."

Rebic turned his loan from Eintracht Frankfurt into a permanent move on Saturday after finishing 2019-20 as Milan's top scorer with 12 goals in 30 appearances.

And the Croatia international is now looking to better that tally in his second season at San Siro.

"I'm very happy to have signed for Milan," he said. "I'm happy I was able to prove I have the quality to play here.

"When I first arrived last season, I said I wasn't a striker, that I help the team in other ways. Then I scored 12 goals - I hope I can score more this season."

Ante Rebic has completed a permanent move to Milan from Eintracht Frankfurt, signing a five-year contract.

The Croatia international impressed on loan with the Rossoneri last season, scoring 12 goals in 30 appearances to finish as their top goalscorer.

Excluding penalties, only Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo (12) has scored more goals in Serie A in 2020 than Rebic (11).

With Andre Silva having secured a permanent switch to Frankfurt for a reported €9million, Milan are said to have signed Rebic for effectively no transfer fee.

The 26-year-old made 100 competitive appearances for Eintracht, scoring 25 goals and providing 12 assists, before moving to Milan on an initial two-year loan last September.

Sporting director Fredi Bobic said via the club's website: "Our fans will always remember Ante, not only because of his outstanding performance in the 2018 DFB-Pokal final [when he was man of the match in a 3-1 win over Bayern Munich].

"We wish Ante all the best for the future. He will always be a welcome guest in Frankfurt."

Sergio Ramos has been the face of Real Madrid, especially since Cristiano Ronaldo's departure in 2018.

Ramos highlighted his importance as Madrid dethroned Barcelona in LaLiga this season.

As the 34-year-old's current deal winds down, talks are reportedly underway to prolong his stay.

 

TOP STORY – RAMOS REVEALS RENEWAL PLANS

Real Madrid captain Ramos wants €17million to renew his contract with the LaLiga champions, according to Diario Sport.

Ramos is out of contract in 2021 and there have been question marks as to whether the Spain skipper will sign a new deal at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The defender has called Madrid home since arriving from Sevilla in 2005.

ROUND-UP

- The front page of Thursday's Diario Sport claims Barcelona are determined to sign Manchester City defender Eric Garcia. The 19-year-old left Barca for City in 2017. It comes as Premier League outfit City push for a swap deal involving full-back Joao Cancelo and Barca's Nelson Semedo.

- Could Real Madrid forward Luka Jovic reunite with former Eintracht Frankfurt team-mate Ante Rebic at Milan? According to reports, Fali Ramadani – agent to both Jovic and Rebic – met with Milan directors Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara on Wednesday. Jovic has struggled since leaving Eintracht for Madrid at the start of the season, with the Serbia international linked to Milan, Napoli, Leicester City and Chelsea among others. Rebic, meanwhile, is on a two-season loan from Eintracht.

Manchester United are interested in signing Adrien Rabiot from Juventus, claims Calciomercato. Fellow Premier League teams Everton and Newcastle United are also reportedly interested.

- Sky Sport Italia and Sportitalia report Victor Osimhen is set to be presented as a Napoli player on Friday. The Lille forward had previously been the subject of reported interest from the likes of Liverpool and United. Sky journalist Fabrizio Romano also says talks are ongoing for Napoli to sign Jeremie Boga from Sassuolo.

- According to RAC1 journalist Gerard Romero, Barca are eyeing Villarreal defender Pau Torres. The 23-year-old – also linked to City – reportedly has a €50m release clause.

City have offered Yangel Herrera to Valencia in an attempt to lure winger Ferran Torres to Manchester, says Gols Media. City are looking to replace Leroy Sane following his Bayern Munich switch.

Milan have contacted the agent of Brescia star Sandro Tonali, claims Sportmediaset. While Inter remain the frontrunners, their city rivals are not giving up on the Italy midfielder.

- Mundo Deportivo says Chelsea are dreaming of signing Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen amid doubts over current number one Kepa Arrizabalaga. Chelsea have also been linked to Atletico Madrid star Jan Oblak.

Ante Rebic has taken aim at Juventus stars Gonzalo Higuain and Federico Bernardeschi over their on-field conduct and hailed the qualities of "leader" and Milan team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The Rossoneri overturned a two-goal deficit to defeat Juve 4-2 in Serie A earlier this month, a match in which Ibrahimovic and Rebic were each on target.

But Milan forward Rebic was less than impressed with what he perceived to be theatrics from some of Juve's line-up, while he also revealed a barb from Bianconeri goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny stoked the fires. 

"There are two Rebics," he told Sportweek. "In private I'm very quiet, a little withdrawn because I don't like people talking about me.

"On the pitch there's another Ante, which breaks everyone's balls. At one point during the win against Juve, I said something to Higuain.

"I'm not a fan of players like him, who are big and strong yet stay down for three minutes whenever they're touched.

"The same goes for Bernardeschi and the same thing happened against SPAL. Ibra takes lots of beatings too but gets up immediately and without a whimper. Others cry too much.

"I say something to Higuain and Szczesny tells me: 'You're 2-0 down, don't get cocky'.

"I didn't answer him. Normally I would've replied, because another thing I don't like is people underestimating me.

"This time, however, I didn't open my mouth. I replied to Szczesny in a different way... I'm strong mentally: whoever attacks me, fires me up."

Rebic is relishing playing with veteran striker Ibrahimovic, who returned to Milan on a short-term deal in January.

It remains to be seen if Ibrahimovic will remain in Milan beyond the end of the campaign but Rebic had nothing but praise for the way the Swedish superstar fires up his team-mates.

Rebic added: "We need him. Ibra's a leader. Before the Juve game, he said to us 'I'll show the Juventus players how to play football'.

"It was his way of getting us fired up, [Asmir] Begovic and [Simon] Kjaer too. They're experienced players who know how to calm you down or spur you on."

Juventus missed the chance to move 10 points clear at the top of Serie A as they incredibly let a two-goal lead slip to lose 4-2 at Milan after a remarkable second half on Tuesday. 

At the start of a crucial week in which Juve also face in-form Atalanta, the leaders had been boosted ahead of kick-off by news of another defeat for second-placed Lazio. 

However, the Bianconeri could not take full advantage despite a sensational opener from Adrien Rabiot and Cristiano Ronaldo's swift second. 

All six goals came after the interval as Milan staged a rapid recovery, scoring through Zlatan Ibrahimovic from the penalty spot, Franck Kessie, substitute Rafael Leao and Ante Rebic. 

Missing the suspended Paulo Dybala, Maurizio Sarri's side could not rally and so remain seven points ahead of Lazio, while rampant Milan climb to fifth. 

Few could have imagined such a chaotic second period when an offside flag against Ibrahimovic ensured the sides went into the break scoreless after a first half of precious little action. 

But Rabiot then required only 74 seconds from the kick-off to break the deadlock in magnificent fashion. 

The midfielder collected the ball just inside his own half and brushed off Kessie before advancing, nutmegging Theo Hernandez and then, 20 yards from goal, arrowing a left-footed shot into the top-right corner. 

There was little the Milan defence could do to deny Rabiot, but Alessio Romagnoli and Simon Kjaer would be well advised to avoid replays of Juve's second, the pair colliding to give Ronaldo time and space to beat Gianluigi Donnarumma. 

Just as Juve looked set to coast to victory, a VAR review spotted a handball from Leonardo Bonucci inside the area, allowing Ibrahimovic to convert from 12 yards. 

The momentum swung and suddenly Milan were in the ascendancy. A wonderful team move created space for Kessie to shoot inside the area, a deflection deceiving Wojciech Szczesny, while Leao drove a low strike through the goalkeeper for a third goal in six minutes to turn the match around. 

Juve threatened to battle back as Donnarumma saved superbly from Daniele Rugani, but Rebic - earlier denied by Szczesny - lashed in Milan's fourth to clinch the points. Ronaldo thought he had netted again in stoppage time, only to be ruled offside.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was on target again as Milan beat Lazio 3-0 at Stadio Olimpico to derail their opponents' Scudetto hopes.

Juve moved seven points clear at the summit with a 4-1 win over rivals Torino earlier on Saturday and Lazio were unable to close the gap in their game in hand.

Lazio had not lost in 16 home games since September 2017 but were two down at half-time - Ibrahimovic scoring a penalty after setting up Hakan Calhanoglu for the opener.

Ante Rebic added a third for Europe-chasing Milan in the second half as Lazio, without leading goalscorer Ciro Immobile, fell to just a second loss in 25 league matches.

Calhanoglu continued his good form since the restart by opening the scoring after 23 minutes, the midfielder's strike deflecting off Marco Parolo to help it over Thomas Strakosha.

Ibrahimovic had a goal ruled out for offside but did not have to wait long to score from the penalty spot after Alexis Saelemaekers' cross struck Stefan Radu's hand.

Strakosha got a hand to the spot-kick 11 minutes before the break but it squirmed under his body to leave Lazio, who recovered from a goal down to beat Fiorentina in midweek, with a big mountain to climb.

Manuel Lazzari thought that he had started a second-half comeback when he drilled home, only for the offside flag to deny him, and further misery followed when Rebic added a third goal.

The Croatia international took Giacomo Bonaventura's pass in his stride and swept past Strakosha for his ninth league goal of the season.

Milan should have added a fourth late on but Theo Hernandez missed a sitter, having earlier been denied by Strakosha following an impressive run.
 

What does it mean? Lazio's Scudetto hopes all but over

Lazio's slim Scudetto hopes are surely all over as this loss leaves them seven points adrift of leaders Juventus with eight games to go.

As for Milan, they now have 10 points from a possible 12 since the restart - the exception being a disappointing 2-2 draw with SPAL last time out - and are in sixth place.

Zlat is back

Ibrahimovic now has two goals in two starts since recovering from an injury during the lockdown that many feared would bring a premature end to his career.

He may have got a bit of luck with the penalty - Strakosha really should have kept it out - but he made his presence felt and also teed up Calhanoglu's opener.

Immobile absence is felt

Lazio were without Immobile for the first time in Serie A this season, while fellow forward Felipe Caicedo was also suspended.

Joaquin Correa and Luis Alberto had nowhere the same impact, managing just one shot on target between them.

What's next?

Milan host league leaders Juventus on Tuesday, the same day that Lazio, who will hope Stefano Pioli's men can do them a favour, travel to relegation-threatened Lecce.

Eintracht Frankfurt sports director Fredi Bobic admitted star winger Filip Kostic could leave the Bundesliga side.

Kostic has previously been linked to Antonio Conte's Inter, while there is reported interest in the Serbia international from the Premier League.

The 27-year-old enjoyed another fine campaign, scoring four goals and tallying 11 assists, having contributed 10 goals and 13 assists across all competitions last season.

Bobic was asked about the future of Kostic and he said: "Filip is happy here. He feels very comfortable with us, but it may also be that we are ready to release him.

"That depends not only on us, but also on the player. But I can imagine that he will play here next season: fans happy, players happy, me happy."

Bobic, who sanctioned the big-money departures of Luka Jovic (Real Madrid) and Sebastien Haller (West Ham) at the start of the season as Eintracht made significant profits, is anticipating a difficult transfer period due to the COVID-19 crisis.

"The goal was clearly to break the €300million mark in the 2019-20 season," he said. "But suddenly there was a stop sign at €280m."

"There are an incredible number of players on offer right now, including interesting ones. But we have to look at the books to see what is possible. Because we do not know how long the situation will last.

"We have to be patient, it will be tough and long. It won't be an easy time. We already have a few players we would like to sign but if the money is not there, you cannot buy."

Bobic – who is also planning to offer head coach Adi Hutter a new contract – was also asked about Ante Rebic and loanee Andre Silva.

Rebic joined Milan on a two-year loan deal at the start of the season as Silva moved to Eintracht on the same terms.

Milan are reportedly keen on signing Rebic permanently, while Silva scored 16 goals for Eintracht.

"We have agreed with the owner of Milan that we will get together soon and talk about the topic," Bobic said. "I don't think Ante wants to get back to our salary level.

"Andre knows that we are happy with him. He is also happy to be here in Frankfurt and can imagine staying longer."

Milan coach Stefano Pioli has backed his players to recover their spark against Lazio on Saturday after a sluggish 2-2 draw against Serie A strugglers SPAL.

Pioli blamed fatigue as Milan needed an injury-time own goal to secure a point at the Stadio Paolo Mazza on Wednesday with lowly SPAL having played the majority of the contest with 10 men.

Mattia Valoti's close-range finish and stunning long-range effort from Sergio Floccari gave SPAL a 2-0 lead before Marco D'Alessandro was sent off for a reckless challenge on Theo Hernandez.

Milan pulled a goal back with 11 minutes remaining when Rafael Leao stroked the ball home before Francesco Vicari diverted the ball into his own net in added time.

"It is not easy to recover mental and physical energies by playing every three days," Pioli told a news conference.

"But we must do it and do better. It takes all our focus and determination.

"The players are tired but they will recover energy to make a good performance against Lazio, who rested one day more than us."

Milan were much improved after veteran Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic came off the bench just after the hour to make his first appearance since March.

Although Pioli felt his tactics throughout were unfortunate not to deliver victory as the draw left Milan two points behind sixth-placed Napoli in the battle for a Europa League group-stage spot.

He continued: "Our approach was not wrong, but the game was tough after we made two careless mistakes.

"We had controlled the game and created several goalscoring chances. There was even time for us to score a winning third goal, but we just failed."

Milan striker Ante Rebic had an off night but Pioli refused to criticise the Croatia international.

"He had his chances," he added. "Maybe today he was less brilliant. Fatigue can be felt."

SPAL coach Luigi Di Biagio acknowledged the dismissal of D'Alessandro on the stroke of half-time "affected" his side.

But despite suffering a crushing late blow, he would not give up on his side's survival chances even though they are seven points adrift of safety.

"As long as we are alive, I will believe it until the end," Di Biagio said. 

"Three games await us that will give us a clearer idea of things. We hope to close the gap in the table."

Ante Rebic's eighth Serie A goal of 2020 and a late penalty from Hakan Calhanoglu dented Roma's top-four hopes as Milan claimed a 2-0 Serie A win at San Siro.

The Giallorossi were seeking four successive top-flight victories for the first time all season but hot and humid conditions in Milan seemed to sap them of any creativity.

Edin Dzeko missed with a close-range header in the first half and the contest was heading for a dour draw until Rebic popped up with the opening goal 14 minutes from time to continue his fine form since the turn of the year.

Theo Hernandez was then tripped in the box by Chris Smalling with two minutes to go, allowing Calhanoglu to make sure of the points with an emphatic penalty.

Both sides were slow to get going but it was Roma who eventually seized some sort of control.

Dzeko really should have scored with a header when unmarked six yards out but he could only flick Justin Kluivert's deflected cross wide.

It was a similar story at the other end when Calhanoglu nodded off target from Hernandez's delivery, with the presence of Antonio Mirante possibly putting the Milan man off.

Milan failed to register a single shot on target in the first half but they twice worked Mirante in quick succession midway through the second period following the introduction of Lucas Paqueta and Alexis Saelemaekers from the bench.

Calhanoglu got behind the Roma defence via a one-two with Saelemaekers but Mirante denied the Turkish midfielder with his legs before pushing away an effort from Paqueta.

A Milan goal did eventually come, though, after Davide Zappacosta gave the ball away to Rebic in his own half.

Mirante saved from Franck Kessie and then diverted Rebic's first attempt onto the post but the in-form forward rifled the rebound into the roof of the net.

Hernandez's driving run then paid off when he reached the ball before Smalling, and Calhanoglu converted his penalty to give Milan breathing space.

Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty failure did not prove costly for Juventus as they reached the Coppa Italia final on away goals following a 0-0 draw with 10-man Milan as Italian football returned on Friday.

The two teams drew 1-1 in the first leg of the semi-final at San Siro in February but had to wait four months for the return match at the Allianz Stadium due to the coronavirus pandemic leading to the suspension of major sport across the globe in March.

Prior to kick-off a minute's silence was held for those who died from COVID-19, before a round of applause for the nation's health workers. Milan had warmed up in 'Black Lives Matter' shirts, while Juve sported tops saying 'No to Racism'.

Ronaldo scored from the spot to salvage a draw in the first leg but was unable to repeat the trick following a VAR review in the 16th minute. Ante Rebic was sent off for a wild lunge on Danilo just 17 seconds later but Juve failed to capitalise on their personnel advantage as they scraped a place in the showpiece.

The Bianconeri were awarded a penalty after referee Daniele Orsato reviewed video footage and deemed that Andrea Conti handled the ball in the area, but Ronaldo's drilled effort from the spot cannoned back off the left upright.

Gianluigi Donnarumma perhaps got the slightest of touches on it but as Milan attempted to clear their lines, Rebic caught Danilo in the chest with a dangerous high foot and was shown a straight red card.

Blaise Matuidi had a volley batted away by Donnarumma in the 31st minute and Ronaldo warmed the goalkeeper's gloves, while Milan failed to test Gianluigi Buffon during forays forward that were surprisingly frequent despite their numerical disadvantage.

Hakan Calhanoglu sent a free header wide within three minutes of the restart before Stefano Pioli finally sent on a striker to replace Rebic – Rafael Leao coming on for Giacomo Bonaventura.

Despite both teams being allowed up to five substitutions each they clearly suffered from fatigue in the second half and neither side could find a winner as the match meandered to a low-key stalemate.

What does it mean? Treble still on for Juve

Their club-record run of 10 straight home wins in the Coppa may have ended, but Juve are still fighting for silverware on three fronts.

Maurizio Sarri's men will have their work cut out to achieve it, though; they only hold a one-point advantage over Lazio with 12 Serie A games remaining and before the hiatus lost the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Lyon 1-0.

Before thinking about that they have a chance to wrap up a 14th Coppa success in their 19th appearance in the final, where Inter or Napoli will be their opponents.

Donnarumma does his bit

It was tough to tell definitively whether Donnarumma got a touch on Ronaldo's penalty, but he made good stops from Matuidi and Paulo Dybala – both of whom, along with team-mate Daniele Rugani, contracted COVID-19 during the stoppage – to help keep Milan's slim hopes alive. After keeping out Alex Sandro in second-half stoppage time, Donnarumma finished the game with seven saves.

Rebic loses his head

Milan were already at a disadvantage with Zlatan Ibrahimovic out due to suspension and losing Rebic, who had contributed 40 per cent of their goals in 2020 prior to kick-off, to a needless, reckless challenge made an already daunting task look near impossible.

What's next?

Juve will face Napoli or Inter in the final on Wednesday, while Milan will turn their attention to resuming their Serie A campaign against Lecce on Monday week.

Antoine Griezmann is seemingly not ready to accept that his Barcelona career could be over.

The LaLiga giants have been heavily linked with moves for Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar and Inter forward Lautaro Martinez.

It had been reported Griezmann could head to San Siro as part of a deal, but the France international will not move so easily.

 

TOP STORY – GRIEZMANN READY TO FIGHT NEYMAR, MARTINEZ FOR BARCELONA PLACE

Griezmann is prepared to battle for his future at Barcelona despite links to Neymar and Martinez, according to Marca.

The former Atletico Madrid star had scored 14 goals in 37 games this season before the campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But, the 29-year-old forward is ready to fight for a spot even if Martinez and Neymar arrive in the close season.

ROUND-UP

- A player that seems certain to leave Barcelona is Philippe Coutinho, who is on loan at Bayern Munich this season. Goal reports the LaLiga giants are still aiming to sell the playmaker and are hoping for a suitor in the Premier League.

- Staying at Camp Nou, Arturo Vidal has been linked heavily with a move to Inter. However, Mundo Deportivo reports Manchester United and Newcastle United are also interested in the midfielder. Apparently, Newcastle would be the frontrunners if the Premier League club manage to appoint Massimiliano Allegri, who coached Vidal at Juventus.

- Could Arsenal and Atletico Madrid be prepared for a swap deal? The Sun reports Arsenal are ready to offer Alexandre Lacazette to the LaLiga club to seal a deal for midfielder Thomas Partey. Also with Arsenal, the Mirror says the Premier League side have asked Valencia about Rodrigo Moreno, with Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang potentially leaving.

- Out of contract in 2022, Marc-Andre ter Stegen appeared set to earn a new deal at Barcelona. However, AS reports the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic is set to make a renewal for the goalkeeper – linked with Juventus and Bayern Munich – a lot harder.

- Perhaps Thiago Silva will remain at Paris Saint-Germain. Le 10 Sport reports the Ligue 1 giants are offering the defender – whose deal expires at the end of the season – a one-year contract.

- In the first year of a two-season loan deal at AC Milan, Ante Rebic has netted seven times. CalcioMercato reports the Serie A side are keen to make the Eintracht Frankfurt forward's move permanent soon, before his asking price rises further.

Erick Pulgar's late penalty salvaged a 1-1 Serie A draw for 10-man Fiorentina against Milan on Saturday.

Fiorentina were heading for defeat at Stadio Artemio Franchi, but Asmir Begovic – on in place of the injured Gianluigi Donnarumma – was unable to keep out a Pulgar spot-kick five minutes from time after Alessio Romagnoli was adjudged to have fouled former Patrick Cutrone.

Pulgar's penalty cancelled out Ante Rebic's second-half opener, with the Croatia forward having netted his sixth goal in his last six Serie A appearances.

Matters looked even bleaker for Fiorentina when Dalbert was shown a red card for a foul on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but ultimately it was Milan who were left hanging on, Dusan Vlahovic and Martin Caceres missing late chances to win it.

 

Milan head coach Stefano Pioli claimed his players have started to embrace his football philosophy but was coy on their hopes of securing a Champions League place.

The Rossoneri moved up to eighth place in Serie A after a 1-0 win over Torino on Monday thanks to Croatia forward Ante Rebic's first-half strike.

It ensured Milan went unbeaten in nine home games in a row in all competitions for the first time since January 2017.

Pioli, 54, has regularly faced scrutiny over his position during a testing season, having replaced Marco Giampaolo in October last year.

"I am happy with both the result and the performance, we are forming an identity and a way of being on the pitch," Pioli said in his post-match news conference.

"And we still have 14 games to go up the table. We are always under scrutiny, but it is normal and also beautiful in certain respects. 

"You can't think about the future now, there is still so much to do, the future will be decided at the end of the season.

"I had asked for an important effort. We also suffered because of us because we could immediately end the game in the second half.

"I am satisfied with the team's recent performances, but it can be improved in the final phase of matches."

Pioli, however, played down his side's chances of making a sustained end-of-season surge to finish in Serie A's top four.

Milan are still 10 points behind Atalanta, who occupy the fourth Champions League spot after 24 matches of the season, with Pioli keen to keep expectation levels grounded.

"Can we dream of the Champions League? There is only room to prepare well for the next game in five days," Pioli added.

"It is a difficult match against a strong Fiorentina, then we will think about the league table from Saturday evening.

"Winning, gritting one's teeth and fighting is positive. We could certainly have finished the game earlier.

"Zlatan Ibrahimovic came out angry because he wanted to end the game, instead we missed some chances in transition and we had to suffer to the end."

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